15 quotes to help you embrace your loneliness


View my original post on Thought Catalog.

Sometimes even though we surround ourselves with people, we still feel alone. Loneliness is the human condition. It usually happens when we feel isolated and misunderstood. Although loneliness holds a negative connotation, and is often associated with depression, it’s not entirely bad. Below are 15 quotes to help you celebrate and embrace your loneliness.

  1. “Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. An intelligent, sensitive person is the exception, the very great exception. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment. The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” – Janet Fitch
  1. “Deep in my heart I know I am a loner. I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am. So, I’ve learned to enjoy myself.” – Steven Aitchison
  1. “Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.” – Henry Rollins
  1. “Perhaps only people who are capable of real togetherness have that look of being alone in the universe. The others have a certain stickiness, they stick to the mass.” – H. Lawrence
  1. “Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony.” – Douglas Coupland
  1. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou
  1. “When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
  1. “We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” – Hermann Hesse
  1. “When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.” – Fiona Apple
  1. There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes, By the deep Sea, and music in its roar: I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron
  1. “Some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness.” – Poppy Z. Brite
  1. “If you are alone you belong entirely to yourself. If you are accompanied by even one companion, you belong only half to yourself or even less in proportion to the thoughtlessness of his conduct and if you have more than one companion you will fall more deeply into the same plight.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  1. “When we are most alone is when we embrace another’s loneliness.” – Mitch Albom
  1. “She had become accustomed to being lonely. She was used to walking alone and to being considered ‘different.’ She did not suffer too much.” – Betty Smith
  1. “There are some places in life where you can only go alone. Embrace the beauty of your solo journey.” – Mandy Hale

20 quotes INFPs will instantly relate to


View the original Introvert, Dear article here. 

INFPs are healers and dreamers. They see the world for what it could be, and they inspire others with their imagination and compassion. However, it’s not easy being an INFP personality type. As an INFP, you may feel like the world doesn’t understand or appreciate your individuality. You may feel like you have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Because you hide your feelings, passions, and strong values beneath a calm exterior, you may struggle to make your voice heard. In spite of this, INFPs have a bright inner light that helps them overcome life’s challenges.

Here are 20 quotes that INFPs will relate to:

  1. “The best you’ll ever do is to understand yourself, know what it is that you want, and not let the cattle stand in your way.” – Janet Fitch
  1. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

  3. “The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. “I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  5. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

  6. “I sometimes fall into the trap of doing what I think I should be doing rather than what I want to be doing.” – Bjork

  7. “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” – A. A. Milne

  8. “To all the other dreamers out there, don’t ever stop or let the world’s negativity disenchant you or your spirit. If you surround yourself with love and the right people, anything is possible.” – Adam Green

  9. “But sometimes your light attracts moths and your warmth attracts parasites. Protect your space and energy.” – Warsan Shire

  10. “My heart and my passions are the most beautiful things about me.” – Anonymous

  11. “Deep in my heart I know I am a loner. I have tried to blend in with the world and be sociable, but the more people I meet the more disappointed I am. So, I’ve learned to enjoy myself.” – Steven Aitchison

  12. “Sometimes, in order to follow our moral compass and/or our hearts, we have to make unpopular decisions or stand up for what we believe in.” – Tabatha Coffey

  13. “People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.” – Soren Kierkegaard

  14. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

  15. “Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.” – J.K. Rowling

  16. “You can’t save people, you can only love them.” – Anais Nin

  17. “Once you label me you negate me.” – Soren Kierkegaard

  18. “You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you.” – John Green

  19. “Not knowing where you’ll end up only makes life more interesting.” – Catherine Chea

10 contradicting things about INFPs


View my original article at Introvert, Dear. 

The INFP personality type can feel like a walking paradox. Why is this? Well, it’s because the INFP’s cognitive functions often contradict each other. For instance, although INFPs are Perceivers (which means they prefer an adaptable lifestyle), they lead with a Judging function, Introverted Feeling (which is concerned with establishing order). Likewise, it’s not uncommon for INFPs to have strong beliefs and opinions and yet be indecisive when it comes to making everyday choices. Here are 10 more contradicting things about INFPs:

1. INFPs want to help others yet they resist human contact.

INFPs are true idealists who want to make the world a better and more compassionate place. They are highly empathetic individuals who have the capacity for deep caring. Although they are very interested in helping others, they can also be extremely reserved and private. As introverts, they need a lot of alone time to recharge, as social interactions can be draining.


2.  They’re both curious and shy.

INFPs have a strong Extroverted Intuition (Ne) function which makes them enjoy exploring new ideas and possibilities. They are very curious when it comes to learning about the world, including learning about human nature and different cultures. However, at the same time, they can be shy and hesitant to open themselves up to people who they aren’t familiar with. This is because INFPs are conscientious, need time to reflect, and do not like to engage in shallow conversations. They take their encounters quite personally and are highly sensitive, so they may be wary about letting just anyone into their lives.

3.  INFPs can be extremely determined or apathetic. 

INFPs seem to run on an on-off switch. They can either be extremely obsessive about something or completely indifferent. That’s because Fi is their primary driver, so they are motivated by what feels right. So, if an INFP comes across something that excites them, they can become extremely passionate, even neglecting basic needs such as sleep in their pursuit. Conversely, it can be very difficult for INFPs to find any motivation to finish a task or partake in a discussion if it doesn’t spark their interest.


4. They can be easygoing or stubborn. 

INFPs are generally easygoing and flexible, especially when it comes to making everyday decisions. They also like to entertain different ideas and possibilities, thanks to their auxiliary Ne function, and are open to looking at things from many perspectives. However, INFPs have strong personal values due to their Fi and are reluctant to compromise them. They stand their ground and do not easily surrender in the face of adversity. For instance, INFPs believe in staying true to themselves so they resist giving up their individuality and values in order to conform, be part of a clique, and/or please others. They might get bullied for choosing to be a square peg in a round hole, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.


5. INFPs are perfectionists but can also be negligent.

INFPs have high standards for themselves and their work, and they can become perfectionists. For instance, they might reread an email several times before hitting send. At the same time, as Intuitives, INFPs prefer to focus on the big picture rather than spend time working out the details of something. Likewise, sometimes they get lost in their own idealism and neglect more practical matters.


6.  They’re unconventional and quirky, but also traditional.

INFPs are highly individualistic people who break free from the status quo. They choose their own unique pathway rather than doing what society expects of them. At the same time, INFPs can be traditional due to their strong values and sense of nostalgia. They are extremely loyal and have clear beliefs about right and wrong. They also attach meaning to things from the past because of their Introverted Sensing (Si) function, so it’s not unusual for INFPs to hold on to childhood toys, treasured collections, or family memorabilia.


7. INFPs want to be autonomous and free, but also have stability and order. 

INFPs value autonomy and prefer to do things freely without any impediments. They like to be creative, expressive, and explore new things without being burdened by repetitive tasks and strict orders. However, at the same time, they are drawn to their inferior Extroverted Thinking (Te) function and desire some sort of stability and structure in their lives—or else things may get a little too chaotic. INFPs may find their life to be quite disorganized when they are being carried away by their imagination; they need something to ground them in reality.


8. They feel happy and sad at the same time.

INFPs feel deeply and experience a wide breadth of emotions. They can vividly recreate experiences and feelings through their imagination. They may even experience several emotions simultaneously, such as feeling both pleasant and melancholy.


9.  INFPs want the ideal partner, but may find themselves drawn to toxic relationships.

When it comes to relationships, INFPs may find themselves falling into one of two traps: they struggle to find their princess or prince charming, or end up in a toxic relationship. Because they are highly idealistic, INFPs may have unrealistic expectations when it comes to dating. At the same time, they are crusaders who want to save others. In doing so, INFPs may end up in an unhealthy relationship, attracting narcissists and other toxic individuals who take advantage of their unconditional empathy.


10. They are both children and old souls.

INFPs can sometimes seem childlike because they tend to be optimistic and can see life through rose-colored glasses. In spite of their whimsical and free-spirited nature, INFPs are also old souls; they experience emotions intensely, have high levels of empathy, and can see many possibilities in a given situation. With these gifts come incredible insight, depth, and wisdom.


A letter to any INFPs who have ever felt misunderstood


Find my original article at Introvert, Dear. 

Dear fellow INFP,

I’m writing this letter to remind you that your gifts and talents are valuable, even though at times you may feel like the world does not appreciate you.

INFPs tend to be wallflowers: we possess a quiet, shy demeanor. However, that’s only how we appear on the surface. As an INFP myself, I know that beneath our outward layer of calm burns a passionate inner flame. We have incredible creativity and compassion that are just waiting to be unleashed, so we can make a difference in the world.

Unfortunately, we often feel misunderstood and invisible. Our dominant cognitive function,Introverted Feeling (Fi), makes us keep our deeply held values and feelings private. For this reason, we may struggle to articulate the thoughts and feelings that are the most important to us. For instance, we may experience a slew of emotions when we try make sense of all of the unpleasant incidences that have taken place in our lives. These emotions can make us feel very heavy; and because they are so complex and private, often times we cannot share them with others, which only makes us feel more isolated.

When it comes to our relationships, we also look inward. We tend to be great listeners and natural therapists. It brings us great joy to help others unravel their inner core and learn more about who they truly are. For this reason, the INFP personality type is nicknamed the “healer” and “mediator” in the Myers-Briggs system.

However, our light can attract moths and our warmth can bring parasites. Because we listen and truly care, we get taken advantage of. We may find ourselves in one-sided relationships, becoming someone’s emotional dumping ground—they do all the talking while we do all the listening. This makes us feel under-appreciated for the healing that we can bring. If these toxic relationships persist, we may become melancholy and lonely.

As INFPs, we see things differently from other personality types. We have a vivid imagination that sees the world for what it could be. Likewise, our imagination allows us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Unfortunately, most people treat us like our imagination is a bad thing. We’re told that daydreaming is unproductive and childlike. Daydreaming wastes time. This makes us feel alienated and further misunderstood. But the reality is that our detachment from the outer world stems from our desire to discover truth about ourselves and our world. We’re trying to bring meaning and inspiration to our reality.

Although INFPs are healers and dreamers, sometimes the harshness and cruelness of reality drains our energy. When we become stressed, anxious, or frustrated, our shadow manifests through our inferior Extroverted Thinking function. When this happens, we are no longer our compassionate and gentle selves; instead, we become bitter, judgmental, and extremely critical of every error we see.

For example, I can become very critical of others, especially when my core values are threatened. This causes me to feel extreme resentment towards the person who hurt me. I begin to analyze their viewpoint and attempt to prove to them why they’re wrong. If matters do not get resolved, the relationship may become damaged beyond repair.

Also, because I have deep feelings that are hidden from the surface, others hurt me without even knowing it. They say or do things that trigger very intense negative emotions. For instance, one time I tried to explain to a friend that I was experiencing internal turmoil due to my personal circumstances. Instead of getting the compassionate response I was hoping for, I was called “too sensitive, self-pitying, and ungrateful.”

What makes matters worse is I often don’t communicate how I’ve been affected by the situation. I  keep my hurt to myself. This only exacerbates the pain. Recently I’ve discovered that communicating these feelings through writing and/or finding a creative outlet to express myself helps me clear up these turbulent emotions.

I know life can be challenging for all of us at times because the world can be a cruel place. However, I believe that we face obstacles in order to become stronger. Each time we are challenged, we gain precious wisdom and insight that help us grow and reach our potential. So, if you’re feeling defeated, don’t give up. Do not let the bitterness of the world steal the beautiful sweetness and love you possess as an INFP. You can be extremely passionate about something, whether that is playing music, creating art, supporting a cause, or learning about the humanities. Believe in yourself and focus on what you love.

The world can be a very exciting place when we open up to it and let go of whatever is holding us back. I really think that INFPs are truly extraordinary because we have the inner light of our idealism combined with our strong values. Our inner light motivates us to keep going and to inspire compassion and imagination in all who we meet.

INFPs are incredibly talented and caring, and we often give ourselves too little credit because we have high expectations for ourselves. And even though other people may not appreciate or understand our deeply held convictions, that does not undermine their value. The world needs us. We might not be in the spotlight and we usually go about this world quietly, but we are shaping the world in our gentle way.

INFPs have a strong inner compass that helps us navigate through life’s ups and downs. So, even though we may appear to be lost, deep down, we’re not lost at all. We’re simply walking our own unique path. INFP, don’t let the world deter you. Keep rocking it! You’re doing just fine.

Yours truly,


“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien


INFP or ISFP? 7 ways to tell them apart


Find my original article at Introvert, Dear.

INFPs and ISFPs are both individualistic, sensitive, caring, and highly creative individuals. Although they are both Introverted Feelers (Fi), their main difference is their auxiliary function. INFPs use Extroverted Intuition (Ne) as their auxiliary, which enables them to pick up on and interpret possible meanings behind external data. ISFPs, on the other hand, use Extroverted Sensing (Se), which makes them highly observant of their immediate physical environment.

Although INFPs and ISFPs appear to be quite similar—they both have artistic preferences and strong values—they see the world quite differently.

Below are 6 ways in which INFPs and ISFPs are different:

1. INFPs live in their inner world. ISFPs are more present and down-to-earth.

INFPs spend a lot of time in their heads. They contemplate big ideas, daydream, and reflect on their experiences. They tend to be very in touch with their inner world of thoughts and feelings, so much that they may be oblivious to what’s going on around them. In contrast, ISFPs prefer to live in the moment. They are very aware of their surroundings and are always finding ways to directly express themselves in their physical environment. For example, an ISFP may enjoy creating art, making crafts, or gardening. An INFP may take a less hands-on approach and instead enjoy studying the life of a famous artist or philosopher and learning about what inspired them.

2. INFPs express their values through language, reasoning, or stories. ISFPs express themselves through their physical actions and appearance.

INFPs have a direct relationshipwith their inner world. They explore their inner-most passions and values (Fi), through their auxiliary function, Ne. Their tertiary function, Introverted Sensing (Si), archives their memories of their impressions. They are then able to convey their values and feelings clearly through language, because they have such a vivid and detailed memory of their own dream world. For this reason, many writers are INFPs, including J.R.R. Tolkien, A. A. Milne, Virginia Woolf, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

ISFPs, on the other hand, have an indirect relationship with their inner world. Instead, they have a direct relationship with the outer world, thanks to their Se. Their tertiary function, Introverted Intuition (Ni), which looks at their inner world, is somewhat repressed by their auxiliary. Hence, ISFPs may feel that language is inadequate to express their deeply held values and feelings. Instead, they may express themselves directly through fashion, music, or art. They value aesthetics more than INFPs and often wear a unique look. Not surprisingly, many artists are ISFPs including Enya, Pharrell, Williams, and David Bowie.

3. INFPs are fascinated with the meaning behind art. ISFPs have a more practical attitude towards it.

Expanding on the previous points, INFPs are more concerned with the meaning, symbols, and overarching storyline behind art. For ISFPs, art in itself is the most direct and best form of communicating their feelings. They are less interested in the themes and underlying patterns.

4. When it comes to social interactions, INFPs are generally more self-conscious than ISFPs.

INFPs have a tendency to overthink things and see hidden implications and patterns everywhere. They may worry that people misunderstand them and cannot appreciate them for who they truly are beneath their quiet surface. ISFPs, in contrast, tend to take social interactions at face value, are less self-conscious, and are forward in their approach.

5. INFPs have high standards for themselves and others. ISFPs are more easygoing and adaptable.

Relatively speaking, INFPs can be easygoing and adaptable too, because their Ne enables them to be spontaneous and playful. But they can also be extremely hard on themselves and those close to them, because they tend to be idealistic and have high moral standards. ISFPs, on the other hand, are less hard on themselves and are less likely to ruminate on their own wrongdoings—unless they’ve done something they consider to be truly unforgivable. INFPs tend to ruminate quite a bit and may get torn up with remorse if they think they’ve made the wrong decision.

6. INFPs entertain ideas about the future. ISFPs are primarily concerned with the present moment.

INFPs dislike making detailed plans about the near future, such as creating an itinerary for a vacation or deciding weeks in advance what they will do on a given day. However, they are future-oriented in the sense that they are idealistic about the future. They may daydream about future careers or relationships, imagining what their life could be—which is something ISFPs wouldn’t normally do because they focus on their immediate environment.

7. INFPs make decisions based on their code of values. ISFPs make decisions based on sensory information they gather in the moment.

INFPs look at different future possibilities and carefully weigh their consequences; they base their decisions on a consistent internal framework of moral values. ISFPs are less likely to hold themselves to a strict code of pre-established values. Rather, they make decisions based on their thoughts and feelings in each moment.

INFPs and ISFPs both bring inspiration and love to the world in their own unique way. The world is a little warmer and more colorful thanks to these creative and sincere personalities.

INFP and the challenges of reality


Here’s a rough excerpt from one of the chapters in The INFP Book.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

For a dreamer, the real world can be a dull and unpleasant place compared to the beauty and visions found within our imagination.  For myself, I dislike talking about the nitty-gritty details of daily life. Conversations about finance, chores, and even the news, can be irksome and tiring and are droning sounds to my psyche.  Often times, I find myself escaping from such conversations and drifting into a different universe, contemplating and exploring the various thoughts and emotions that run through my stream of consciousness.  While I’m in this dream world, everything seems much more ideal and pleasant. It’s also a place where I explore my core values and identity.

For INFPs, we have a direct relationship with our inner world: we explore our innermost passions and values (Fi), through our auxiliary function, extroverted intuition (Ne); our tertiary function, introverted sensing (Si), then archives this inner exploration in the form of memories and dreams. This enables us to have a vivid and detailed recollection of our imagination.

The problem for many INFPs is that our ideals about the world and imagination often conflict with the needs of reality. For other people, they see what we have as a distraction from what’s “important” in life.  Unfortunately, many people often don’t understand that our detachment from reality stems from our desire to find inspiration and truth about ourselves and the world.  There’s a stigma that’s attached to daydreaming: it makes us seem like unproductive and childlike individuals; when in truth, we are seeking meaning and depth.

As well, even I find that my own imaginations can get too carried away at times, where I struggle to find that right balance between my idealism and reality. There were so many things that I wanted to do: such as starting a philosophy school for children, becoming a lounge pianist at a 5-star hotel, and owning two dogs (at the time when I was young). I was restricted from achieving my many visions because I was inhibited by my reality.  Not only did I have too many ideas, it was hard for me to actualize my dreams because I wasn’t always good at being practical.

So, every day it would seem like it’s me vs. the rest of the world. Me vs. reality.  It’s an uphill battle to find that right balance between living my dreams and actually making things happen. Sometimes I even find myself surrendering to the demands of reality, settling for a job or a career path that holds little meaning to me, but seems to be the most practical option.  And often times I find that I can only go so long slaving away doing something that I’m not passionate about before I run dry and find myself in a ditch.  For this reason, it is important that I have that space, that breather where my creativity and imagination can run wild and be expressed freely in order to preserve my mental well-being.  To this day, I am forever grateful to have my piano as an outlet and a place for me to express my innermost feelings and thoughts, at times when I feel like I’ve been suffocated by the rest of the world.

You might wonder, why do INFPs have such vivid imaginations?  Is there a purpose behind all this? INFPs have an inner flame and a burning desire to reach our potential, to create an impression in this world. For many of us, we don’t only want this to happen in our dreams.

The reason why I devoted this entire section on INFP vs. reality because I’ve noticed a common struggle with INFPs when it comes to finding a way to converge our ideals with reality.  Is it possible to find that right balance?  Is it possible to be fulfilling while still being an idealist? Absolutely.

In the next few chapters, I’ll share my career journey, and how I found that place where my skills and interests align. But most importantly, I’ll share the lessons that I’ve learned and the thought processes that I’ve gone through to help get me to where I am today.

5 ways highly sensitive introverts can be more assertive


Find my original article at Introvert, Dear.

It’s not uncommon for highly sensitive people (HSPs) to struggle with being assertive, as in, standing up for one’s rights and values in a constructive and calm way. Due to their quiet demeanor, people may talk over them and disregard their feelings and viewpoints. Because HSPs can be easily hurt, they dislike aggressive communication, and many would avoid conflict all together, hoping that the issue would simply run its course.

As an HSP, I find that I struggle with conflict. In my first year at university, I didn’t get along with my roommates. One roommate often criticized me for not adequately cleaning her dishes as we rotated doing this chore.  Her argument seemed unjust considering that she had not done her fair share of housekeeping, but I was hesitant to confront her. Instead, I held an unhealthy grudge towards her during the entire time that we were roommates.

I now realize that although HSPs struggle with conflict and are frequently being stepped on by others, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be assertive. I believe that it’s a matter of learning how to control our emotions, set boundaries, and communicate our thoughts better.

Below are 5 tips to help HSPs become more assertive:

1. Set boundaries.

Because HSPs are very perceptive of other people’s feelings, they might find themselves becoming the emotional dumping ground for other people. As an HSP and an empath, I find myself entering unhealthy relationships in the hopes of saving the other person, where I then become hurt because the relationship is too one-sided. I realize that it’s important to take control in these situations by setting boundaries.

Often times, I can become very absorbed by another person’s world and forget to take care of myself first. What has helped me learn to draw the line is realizing that there is only so much I can do for others, and that I can’t take care of others if I don’t take care of myself first. Most people would understand when you let them know that you need time to recharge and that it’s nothing personal on their end.

2. Communicate your feelings through assertive writing.

When it comes to dealing with conflict, I find it highly useful to communicate the issue(s) in written words. Not only does this provide immediate cathartic release, but it also helps bring clarity to the situation and is an effective tool for open communication. An important thing to keep in mind when writing a letter about your conflict with someone is to use “I feel” statements. These statements are profound because they phrase the situation so that it reflects your perspective and emotional needs without putting direct blame on the other person.

An assertive letter should explain the situation as succinctly as possible, without getting into unnecessary details. Here’s a template for you to try:

Dear __________,

Although it’s difficult for me to bring up this subject, I feel that it’s necessary to discuss this (conflict/misunderstanding). Because I feel like I can better express myself in writing, I’ve chosen to write you a letter.

Lately, I’ve been feeling hurt about (insert situation). When (the situation) happens, I feel as though I (what emotional need is not met).

This has been weighing on me and I don’t want to leave it unresolved. I would appreciate if we can straighten this out soon, but even if we can’t, I just wanted you to know how I’m feeling. 



3. Be mindful of how you present yourself.

A person’s word choice and body language can reveal a lot about them. HSPs may be too humble for their own good, and unfortunately, others may perceive this as a sign of weakness and try to take advantage of them. There are certain phrases and words that should be avoided in order to sound more assertive:

  • Just—this word minimizes the power of a statement and makes you seem defensive and apologetic.
  • I’m no expert, but…—this speech habit crops up to avoid sounding pushy or arrogant, but doing so negates the credibility of the statement.
  • I can’t—this is a passive statement and implies losing control over your actions.
  • What if we tried…?—stating an idea as a question invites rebuttals and is taken less seriously than straightforward statements.
  • Sorry–apologizing for things unnecessarily not only comes off as insincere, but it also makes you less assertive.
  • Thanks! : )—overusing exclamation marks and emojis may imply that you’re insecure and concerned about being perceived as kind, worthy, and likeable.

When it comes to body language, some body gestures such as crossed arms, shoulder hunching, and lack of eye contact could indicate defensiveness and a lack of confidence. A great way to improve your body language is through public speaking. Join a public speaking club or practice talking in front of a camera to build confidence and stage presence.

4.  Don’t take things personally.

For HSPs, this is easier said than done. But keep in mind that people often project their negative emotions onto others because they struggle to cope with their own problems. Acknowledging this has helped me create a filter and take things less personally. I also try to understand why I feel defensive in certain situations and recognize that taking things too personally gives certain individuals more power over me than they deserve. As Eleanor Rooselvelt says, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

5. Take control of your happiness.

Finally, I’ve learned that my happiness does not depend on other people. Caring about what others think of me, needing people’s validation, and not giving myself time to relax and breathe makes me miserable. Below are some quotes that I find inspirational when it comes to taking control of my own happiness:

  • “Life’s too short to care what others think.” —unknown
  • “But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” —Albert Camus
  • “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” —Marcus Aurelius

Finding my creative muse as an INFP


Creative expression is the lifeblood of an INFP. They need it in order to convey their innermost feelings and values, and to also grow as an individual.  As an INFP, I can’t imagine what a world is like without creative expression. I think it’s what makes us human—and not robots. Can robots be creative?  That’s for another discussion. (Maybe an INTP/ENTP would like to chime in.)😛

Without creativity, we lose a part of our souls

The imagery that comes to mind when I think of humans losing their essence, as a consequence of not tapping into their creative capacity, is Marx’s depiction of the worker who is alienated from their work and its product in the Capitalist. A worker in an assembly line helps build a product in which they have no say over the design and thus has no meaningful connection to it.  From their repetitive and uninspiring mindless labor, they become living robots—nothing more than a piece of machinery.

Actually, going back to my robot topic, robots are becoming very creative thanks to artificial intelligence and I’m afraid that they are also replacing our creative jobs.  They can now make beautiful artwork, cook gourmet dinner, and perhaps soon they’ll be writing novels and blogs!  My argument is that even though robots may be able to do these things, we definitely shouldn’t stop finding ways to explore or creativity—or else we’ll no longer be what it means to be human.


As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog post, creativity helps us with our introspection and self-discovery. It also gives us freedom, lets us express our authentic selves, and helps us define who we are.

So without further ado, here’s how I find my creative muse.

Creativity requires spontaneity

Since my childhood, I liked exploring my creative side using a variety of medium: from writing stories to playing the piano, to decorating my room.  These things occurred to me quite naturally. However, as I get older, I can find myself struggle coming up with new and original ideas. As a content marketer, it’s my full-time job to be constantly developing articles and other forms of content for my agency.  Even as a personal blogger, I sometimes run dry on ideas and get frustrated.

But when inspiration comes, it usually hits with a BANG! Where does this sudden inspiration come from?  If I were to map out my bursts of creativity on a chart, I get these spikes at times in my life when I least expect—when I’m doing something random and outside of my usual routine. This may include going on a last minute trip, from interacting with new people, to watching random videos on YouTube.

3687361The thing with spontaneity is that it happens unintentionally. Actively seeking inspiration breaks the creative chain; so instead, I simply have to live the moment and not think too hard about things (and let my Ne do its magic).  It also helps to put myself out there more, such as going to a meetup event or picking up a random book, because doing so increases my chance of finding that aha moment.  Sometimes creativity comes to me when I’m simply relaxing and being introspective.

So, when I’m low on creative juice, I use that time to take a break and relax and do something different and fun. Before I know it, the creativity will start kicking in again.

Perfectionism is the death of creativity

A lot of times when I’m in the process of producing something, such as a piece of writing, struggle to get my thoughts out even though I have an idea in mind. It’s because I want to make things perfect, which then prevents me from taking action.  Maybe I couldn’t come up with a good sentence, or that I have multiple trains of thought and I’m unsure which one is the best. This kind of thinking leads me down a mental block where nothings coming out and then I eventually feel drained.

When I was reading Everybody Writes by Ann Hadley, one key takeaway from this book was to write the first ugly draft.  This involves spilling out whatever inspiration comes to mind without stopping and thinking about grammar and content. Just let things flow.  The editing and fine tuning come afterwards.

Spilling out whatever inspiration comes to mind.

As well, I have the attention span of a goldfish and I’m learning how to work with it. If I lose interest in a project, I allow myself to give it a break and try something else and revisit it later with fresh eyes.  I also find it helpful to break things down into chunks. Sometimes I start in the middle, or the top, or the bottom. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, as long as I feel inspired to work on that section. I also take additional notes as I write while the idea is still fresh, otherwise, I might lose it.

Be bold and continue to experience new things

What makes something original is that it’s taken from a personal experience.  Every person has a story and style that’s unique to them.  Our ideas do not just come out of thin air even though it may seem this way at times: it’s derived from our interactions with the world combined with our perceptions. And so, it’s essential to continue to stay curious and explore new ideas and places in order to fuel our imagination.

4 sure-fire ways to brighten your mood


Read my original article at Hearty Thought.

Sometimes I find myself feeling dragged by my mundane reality and obstacles of daily life. My life is not nearly as glamorous as the Instagram photos that occupy my social news feed. In spite of that, there are still simple ways to brighten my mood.

I have composed a list of activities that usually cheer me up. My list also applies to everyone as these are some scientifically proven and common ways to boost endorphins and make you feel happier.

1. Sleep


Having a good night’s rest makes me happy.

Although I may be stating the obvious, I find that sleep is often underestimated. People who sleep irregularly and are sleep deprived feel grumpier and are more prone to health risks including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression. Furthermore, sleep deprivation has a negative impact on your metabolism. Much to my surprise, health experts from X Movement explain that the number one strategy for weight loss is having regular sleep. You can find some scientific articles on this topic at the bottom of this article.

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, also documented that adding regular sleep to her resolution has made a tremendous impact on her happiness. She was surprised how something as simple as sleep can have such a positive impact.


2. Exercise and Nature Walks


Nothing makes me feel more serene, mindful and awakened (other than having a good night’s rest) than to go on a nature walk. The scenery, the fresh air, getting more oxygen, all the while listening to some good music, have always helped me to recharge and feel instantly better.


3. Novelty


Being exposed to a new environment, whether it’s from travelling, meeting different people at a café, or going to a bookstore, would help freshen your outlook on life and open your mind. Personally, walking into a Chapters or Indigo bookstore would be instantly gratifying as I find myself exposed to new authors, books, ideas, and topics –it feels like a plethora of wisdom and adventure contained in a store.


4. Connection


Making genuine connections are guaranteed to help you feel better. People who are lonely are prone to life-threatening health risks, similar to obesity and substance abuse.

Pets make great companions and help boost your mood. Dogs, especially, are acutely attuned to humans and emotions. There’s no one better to brighten your day than your best friend who is always eager to see you and will stay by your side through thick and thin.



American Psychological Association. “More Sleep Would Make Americans Happier, Healthier and Safer”. February 2014.

Mann, Denise. “Sleep and Weight Gain”

Hensrud, Donald. “Is too little sleep a cause of weight gain?” Mayo Clinic.

Gupta, Dr. Sanjay. “Why You Should Treat Loneliness as a Chronic Illness” August 2015.

Robinson and Segal. “The Health Benefits of Dogs (and Cats)” August 2015.

How I stopped comparing myself to others


I’ve been inspired to blog thanks to this article, which I’ve written over a year ago.  After being published by the Elephant Journal for the first time, I’ve realized that I have a knack for writing. And today, I’m happy to say that I’ve found my career as a content writer. You can view the original article here.

As human beings, we can’t help but compare ourselves to others.

We always want to improve ourselves (perhaps we are hardwired this way for our “survival”), and so we use other people as our reference point for where we need to be.

However, doing so may lead to our misery. (I can say that from my own experience.)

Lately, I can’t help but feel inadequate with regards to where I am in life. It’s been a year since I graduated and I still haven’t found that first full salary or even a sense of direction (after seemingly trying out a million different things).

It’s like I’ve wasted an entire year of my life.

As a person who has a lot of ambition, this is really difficult for me to admit. I feel less accomplished seeing how others are more established in their careers or have more set goals. I wonder, “Am I where I’m supposed to be?”

As my self-doubt grows, I find myself digging into a deeper hole and then realize that I am becoming depressed.

To begin, this hole (this helpless feeling) that I am referring to is really something that I have constructed in my mind.

Somehow I am able to pave my way out of my despair when I start to look at life from a different angle.

People often say, “Just stay positive” or “be grateful for what you have.”

Statements like these don’t resonate with me. They sound too cliché and I feel even more impotent for being unable to follow this advice. I need more guidance than this. I need to know how to do this.

Here are four steps I’ve since taken to dig myself out of this hole:

1. Connect with humanity.

Although we all live separate lives, we share common human experiences such as pain, love, loss and triumph.

These experiences take place at different points in our lives, as life is a long journey. When you can see that we belong to the same humanity, you will have more compassion and acceptance towards yourself and others.

It helps to read stories about others and relate to their experiences. I recommend reading Humans of New York posts.

2. Appreciate your circumstances.

When hearing stories about people who are in extreme and dire circumstances, I become more grateful for my blessings.

Try reading stories about people in which their freedoms are restricted or their survival is at stake. Not only do these add perspective to our lives, we also gain a further appreciation for the strength of the human spirit.

Know that so much power lies within you.

Some memoirs and biographies about survival: Half the Sky, The Glass Castle, The Escape and Twelve Years a Slave.

(I’m sure there are plenty more.)

3. Acknowledge your contribution.

Whenever I leave an impact on the life of another (whether it’s a person, an animal or even a tree), I feel like I’m making a difference in the world.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes for you to see your value and purpose.

4. Realize that success and happiness are not finite.

Finally, there will always be more opportunities for you to find happiness and success.

Unlike the earth’s resources, success and happiness are things that grow, can be shared and are unlimited—they don’t have to come at the expense of others.

Therefore, have faith that you too will find success in life and know that happiness can be found everywhere.


“Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life… Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes” ~ J.K. Rowling